Video: Andy Rihs says Cadel Evans will win Tour de France in the final time trial
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Video: Andy Rihs says Cadel Evans will win Tour de France in the final time trial

by Shane Stokes at 2:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Swiss believes final glory awaits his rider in Paris

Andy Rihs Cadel Evans

BMC Racing Team owner Andy Rihs will be a very happy man this evening, believing that as Cadel Evans kept in touch with the Schleck brothers on today’s final mountain stage, that the overall Tour de France victory awaits him on Sunday.

The Swiss businessman spoke to VeloNation shortly before the start of the stage from Modane to Alpe d’Huez, and said then that his rider needed simply to keep the same time gap in order to have a chance of taking the yellow jersey in the final time trial. That goal was achieved today, setting him up well for his biggest career triumph in Paris.

“Today is the day to do it, the D day, and then I think everything is fine,” he said in the video interview. “I think he can live without that [gaining time on the Leopard Trek brothers]. It’s not easy, but he is great…he knows the time trial there, he rode it very well in the Dauphiné Libéré…so he knows every little corner, everything is perfect. 42 kilometres – he can do that, he can do that.”

Evans had a stressful start to the stage, with Alberto Contador throwing the race into chaos when he attacked just 16 kilometres after the beginning. While he was able to get back to the Spaniard, mechanical problems meant he was delayed and crested the summit of the Col du Télégraphe one minute 36 seconds behind the Contador/Schleck group.

He fought back, returned to the other race contenders and together they put time into Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), who lost his yellow jersey. Evans tried to drop the Schlecks near the summit and while he temporarily distanced Frank, the three of them hit the line together, maintaining their pre-stage differences.

That will see Evans starting tomorrow’s decisive time trial 57 seconds behind Andy Schleck, the new race leader, and 53 off the time of his brother. Rihs believes those gaps are surmountable, and that his rider will be donning the Maillot Jaune tomorrow evening, and winning the race overall in Paris 24 hours later.

If so, it will mark the high point in a successful partnership between the rider and team, who began working together at the start of last season. Evans was unhappy with the backing he got with his previous squads, but has repeatedly said that he has the perfect setup with the BMC Racing Team. Rihs also underlines the value of the partnership.

“I think from the team side he has a top environment, which he likes to have,” he said. “He felt sometime in his earlier career that he had not the support. Here he has the support – we know what we have in him, and he knows what he has in us…”

 

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